2015−2016 Year-in-Review: External Portfolio

By: Chris Doody

By Glen J. Pearson

As President and External Liaison in 2015–2016, I continued to be busy with arising opportunities and requests for CSHP’s input on many important issues related to hospital pharmacy practice and practitioners.  One of the most notable and important issues in which CSHP was involved was “medical assistance in dying”.  I had the opportunity to respond on behalf of CSHP members to legislative changes to decriminalise this act in Canada.  In collaboration with Myrella Roy (CSHP Executive Director), Cathy Lyder (CSHP Coordinator of Professional & Membership Affairs), Patrick Mayo (CSHP member), Dawn Jennings (Senior Chair of CSHP’s Advocacy Committee), and Patrick Fitch (Junior Chair of CSHP’s Advocacy Committee)—with feedback from the CSHP Board, the Advocacy Committee and the CSHP membership—I engaged in the following activities:

  • responded to a questionnaire issued by the Canadian Provincial/Territorial Expert Advisory Group on Physician-Assisted Dying (September 2015)
  • wrote a formal submission to the External Panel on Options for a Legislative Response to Carter v. Canada (October 2015)
  • completed an online survey conducted by the aforementioned External Panel (October 2015)
  • prepared the CSHP Official Publication Physician-Assisted Dying: Position Statement (January 2016)

I continued to participate in joint officer meetings with the federal government.  Following the 2016 Professional Practice Conference in Toronto, I met with various federal groups in Ottawa as a CSHP representative, together with Myrella Roy and Cathy Lyder.  We met with the Controlled Substances and Tobacco Directorate (CSTD) on February 4th, 2016.  Our discussions with CSTD included: medical marijuana regulations, temporary methadone exemptions for hospital practitioners, requirements for local destruction of narcotics and controlled drugs, and off-label drug use in the context of medical assistance in dying.  On the same day, we also participated in a trilateral meeting with the Health Products and Food Branch and staff members of the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA).  These discussions included the topics of drug shortages, drug recall process, QR codes of pharmaceutical products, medication bar coding, antimicrobial product labelling, the new drug and health product register, and acetaminophen dosage and regulatory changes.

Another issue that garnered attention from CSHP this year was related to Canada’s national pharmacare plan.  In collaboration with Myrella Roy and Cathy Lyder, I authored an open letter on the national pharmacare plan to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Provincial and Territorial Premiers, the Federal/ Provincial/Territorial Ministers of Health, and the Members of the Standing Committee on Health of the House of Commons of Canada.  The letter argued that a national pharmacare program should be a core component of the deliberations of the federal, provincial and territorial working group set up by the health ministers to improve equitable and appropriate access to pharmaceuticals and of the broader negotiations toward a new health accord in Canada.  In the letter, CSHP also made the suggestion that pharmacists should feature in a national pharmacare plan as integral stewards in medication management.  You can read this open letter here

I also had the opportunity to give a presentation to the Citizens’ Reference Panel on Pharmacare in Canada on October 21, 2016.  The Reference Panel was composed of 35 volunteers randomly selected from across the Canadian provinces and territories who came together to learn about how prescription medications are covered in Canada and to recommend changes that will benefit all Canadians.  I offered my professional perspectives on prescription drug coverage in Canada.  This special initiative was designed to positively inform the debate about the future of public funding for prescription medicines in Canada.  The Panel’s recommendations concerning the implementation of a national pharmacare system (http://www.crppc-gccamp.ca/) will be shared with the federal Minister of Health and her provincial counterparts, as well as with other researchers and stakeholders.

Additionally, within the External Liaison portfolio, I am responsible for interacting with the CSHP Advocacy Committee and numerous representatives appointed by CSHP to external committees and collaborating organizations.  I would like to briefly highlight some of their hard work over the past year.

Advocacy Committee / Senior Chair: Dawn Jennings; Junior Chair: Patrick Fitch

Among its numerous objectives, the Advocacy Committee continues to serve as a resource for the CSHP branches in responding to local and provincial advocacy issues.  This group also responded to requests for national consultation this year from the following stakeholders:  National Association of Pharmacy Regulatory Authorities (draft model standards for pharmacy compounding of non-sterile preparations), Health Canada (draft guide to reporting drug shortages and discontinuations), and External Panel of the federal Ministers of Justice and Health (physician-assisted dying).

Association of Faculties of Pharmacy of Canada (AFPC), Canadian Experiential Education (CanExEd) Steering Committee / CSHP Representative: Jason Howorko

The Steering Committee was struck in October 2014 to provide direction and oversight to the CanExEd project.  Several reports have now been produced based on the priorities set out at the beginning of the project and are accessible, along with additional materials, on the AFPC website (http://www.afpc.info/content/canexed-reports).  The final wrap-up meeting of the Steering Committee, which concluded the project, occurred in May 2016.  Finally, a new expanded CanExEd stakeholder group is being considered to allow external organizations (like CSHP and CPhA) to provide ongoing input on the development of experiential education programs.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), Steering Committee of the Acute Critical Events Simulation (ACES) Education Program / CSHP Representative: Dr. Sharon Yamashita

The purpose of providing interprofessional input on the educational cases is to disseminate the ACES course to a more diverse population of learners. Dr. Yamashita assists in the development and review of some of the cases as well as identifies other pharmacists as authors and reviewers of the cases.  As of September 2016, 15 drug monographs had been completed and were ready for publication, with an additional 20−25 monographs under review.  It is anticipated that these monographs will progress to publication over the next several months.

Association of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Disease (AMMI) Canada, Antimicrobial Stewardship and Resistance Committee (ASRC) / CSHP Representative: Dr. Tim Lau

The purpose of this committee is to promote antimicrobial stewardship practices in Canada through an interprofessional approach.  In the same capacity, Dr. Lau represented CSHP as a member of the Canadian Roundtable on Antimicrobial Stewardship in Toronto, Ontario, on June 16−17, 2016.  The primary purpose of this roundtable was to start developing a multi-sectoral antimicrobial stewardship action plan for Canada (spanning hospital, long-term care, and community settings) and to build consensus among clinicians, policy experts, and public health leaders on achievable strategies and policies likely to impact antimicrobial trends in Canada.

Canadian Council for Accreditation of Pharmacy Programs (CCAPP) / CSHP Representative: Dr. Donna Woloschuk

Donna Woloschuk was elected President for 2016−2017.  CCAPP and the US Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) are currently exploring the possibility of a mutual recognition of their accreditation standards and processes, which would be a path to achieving mutual recognition of first professional degree pharmacy graduates of accredited programs and improving labour mobility between the two nations.  CCAPP expects to implement the new Accreditation Standards for Pharmacy Programs in early 2017.  Work has started on the revision of the Standards for Accreditation of Pharmacy Technician Programs (anticipated implementation in 2018).  The new Accreditation Standards for International Pharmacy Programs should be published by June 2017.

Canadian Clinical Pharmacy Key Performance Indicators (cpKPI) Collaborative / CSHP Representative: Cathy Lyder

This group has recently initiated a visioning and goal setting exercise, with preliminary results being reviewed internally.  The working group on the national cpKPI registry has drafted a research protocol, and a residency project assessing the pharmacy learner impact on cpKPI patient processes was completed.  The national patient cpKPI stakeholder feedback was analyzed qualitatively and the results are expected to be presented at a conference.

CPhA/AFPC Pharmacy Workforce Planning Committee / CSHP Representative: Dr. Douglas Doucette

Having identified a change in the pharmacist workforce from shortage to surplus, CPhA and AFPC have established a multi-stakeholder planning initiative to conduct a comprehensive assessment of the current and projected workforce, focusing on supply and demand for pharmacists.